Casting On in Knitting: A Survey of Varieties

Personally, I never seem to be able to master the long-tail method of casting on – the one that is wrapped around the thumb and index finger in a Y-shape. I have my own method that I’ve done forever, yet never have seen duplicated on YouTube. I wrap the yarn on my left thumb, and knit a stitch with the needle in my right hand – this is my version of the long-tail.  And it is very nice and stretchy.  However, the cast-on by Alasdair Post-Quinn made the Y-shaped long-tail cast-on sensible because of the two different colors being used. I may actually be able to do it now!

Given this, I know that I have found a lot of videos on YouTube for casting on before knitting. Being somewhat encyclopedic in my approach to things, I decided that this post would be a collection of the different ones on YouTube I found to be especially useful.

Traditional Long Tail Cast-On

Long Tail Tubular Cast-On for 1×1 and 2×2 Ribbing by Ysolda Teague

Stretchy Knitted Cast-On Using a Crochet Hook from the Scarlet Zebra

Estonian Cast-On for Knitting Socks with Nancy Bush

Channel Island Cast-On by Oftroy

Double Knitting Cast-On with Alasdair Post-Quinn

German Twisted Cast-On with Lucy Neatby


And these are just a few!  In particular, I highly recommend that you connect with Oftroy on YouTube.  She has oodles of videos about cast-ons and different ways to do it – braided, multi-colored, whatever – and her videos are very watchable.  She blogs here.  Lucy Neatby’s YouTube channel has some unusual videos, such as on knitting based on Navajo plying (used in spinning), and a very tidy bobble.  She is not a prolific video-maker, but her stuff is very clear and solid.

What would we do without the internet and YouTube??? There is sooooooo much to learn and share!

94 Days Until Christmas

The Buttoned Cardigan is at a point where I have to focus and pick up stitches for the sleeves.  I like to do this when it is quiet, when there is good daylight, and I can listen to music that soothes the nerves.  Calmness.  Once I’m there, I will be able to work on the sleeves and watch a movie, but until that point comes, it is time to work on more mindless projects, or at least the sections which I deem mindless.  And, with only a few days left for Christmas, I felt it was a good time to begin work on projects for family members.

The two projects I have going on right now are Anemoon, by Lucy Sweetland, and Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague.

Lucy Sweetland is a very talented designer and photographer, with an eye for clean design combined with beautiful touches. Anemoon is an example (see below). Her Emerald Mitts are also another example.   Check out her blog, A Black Pepper.  There is a link for her under the “blogroll” to right, as there is for Ysolda Teague of Scotland.  Ysolda is another talented designer who creates everything from little mice and mushrooms to intricate sweaters.

Anemoon

A number of years ago I attended a conference at Asilomar in Northern California where I took a dyeing class with Nancy Finn of Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. From this workshop, I have about 300 yards of single ply mohair-wool blend that is sort of a mottled purple. Knitted up, a stitch here and there stands out, bright against the rest of the stitches. It is this yarn that I am using for the Anemoon beret by Lucy Sweetland, author of “A Black Pepper” blog.

I think the word “anemoon” is Dutch, and means “anemone” in English. The anemone is a beautiful flower, elegantly simple.

This beret is like the flower – very elegant, simple, with a sophisticated design. Cables emerge from the body of the beret, not out of the ribbing as most cables do.  A number of plain, purled rounds are done, and then the cables begin, like a stem, to emerge and twine, with bobbles like flowers to add interest.

Straight out, cables annoy me! I really don’t like the idea of doing an Aran sweater at all. In a beret or hat, cables don’t go on and on and on. Much more fun!

Anemoon is intriguing because the cables weave in and out, yet are held within four panels which repeat themselves.  I’ve separated out the panels by containing them with different colored stitch markers setting up their boundaries, and a different one to mark the beginning of each round.  For someone like me who doesn’t like doing a lot of cables, Anemoon is the perfect project.  What you see here was accomplished, once the ribbing was done, in a few hours of a lazy afternoon. I’ve totally enjoyed the rhythm of the cables and watching them grow along with the hat.

This yarn makes me think of storm clouds as they fly across the sky. Colors shift and puddle, and then change in the blink of an eye.

Ishbel

I began Ishbel just a few days ago, and am in the process of doing the stockinette that leads into the lace. Pleasant, easy knitting – perfect for doing in front of the television. The color is a lovely turquoise merino-bamboo blend single-ply. I’ve got about 400 yards, so the small Ishbel may be the one I end up making. As a shawl, or neck scarf, the yarn will be very pleasant against the skin as it is not scratchy at all. I am making Ishbel for a family member who walks to work; she can wear it on those chilly mornings approaching so soon.

Who Gets Anemoon??

While I’ve got definite plans for Ishbel, I must admit, this Anemoon may end up on my head! I’ve got the ribbing of another started in a white tweed for another family member . . .

And for More Distraction   . . .

Look what came in today’s mail!  I’m in trouble now! I still have my Selbuvotter mittens to finish!